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The Weird Week in Review

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470 Feet of Extension Cord Leads to Arrest

23-year-old Asher Woodworth was arrested in Bennington, Vermont while trying to steal the giant pepper off the roof of the local Chili's Restaurant. Three women who were acting as lookouts were also arrested. Police seized a hacksaw, power drill, and 470 feet of extension cords that were stretched over a parking lot, across the street, and plugged in at a Home Depot store. The four had been at the job for hours, and had once left to go get more extension cords. Apparently the group was not familiar with cordless power tools.

Snake with a Foot Found

A 16-inch snake was killed at a home in China and then found to have a foot growing out of its body! 66-year-old Dean Qiongxiu said she awoke to find the reptile clinging to a wall in her bedroom. She killed the snake with a shoe and when she saw the clawed foot, she put the body in alcohol to preserve it. It was taken to the Life Sciences Department at China's West Normal University in Nanchang for study.

They Removed the Scar Tissue and Read "Hamburger"

John Manley of Wilmington, North Carolina suffered frequent pneumonia and coughing spells for over a year before the real culprit was found. There was a jagged inch-long piece of plastic lodged in his left lung. It turned out to be part of a utensil from Wendy's Hamburgers. Manley was referred to a specialist at Duke University Medical Center for removal of the object, which was difficult because of the scar tissue that had formed around it. As the team worked, they uncovered letters that spelled out "hamburger".  Manley thinks he probably inhaled the plastic when he gulped a drink. He now drinks with a straw.

First Clown in Space

150spaceclownCanadian billionaire Guy Laliberte is paying $35 million to catch a ride to the International Space Station on a Russian spacecraft later this month. Cirque du Soleil founder Laliberte calls himself "the first clown in space." He plans to brings red noses for everyone on the space station and says he will wake the astronauts by tickling them.  Laliberte will also use his trip to raise awareness of world drinking water issues.

107-Year-Old Woman is Looking for 23rd Husband

107-year-old Wok Kundor has been married to her 22nd husband for years, but is now afraid he might leave her. 37-year-old Mohammed Boor Che Musa is currently in a drug rehabilitation program in Kuala Lumpur. Kundor is afraid he may be able to ind a younger wife and not come back to their small village in the Terengganu state of Malaysia.

If so, Wok has her eyes set on a 50-year-old man, but hopes it does not come to that.

"I realize that I am an aged woman. I don't have the body nor am I a young woman who can attract anyone," she told the newspaper.

Her current husband, however, told a newspaper that he still loves her.

New World Record Tallest Man

150kosenThe Guinness Book of World Records has certified that 27-year-old Sultan Kosen from Turkey is the world's tallest man. Kosen is eight feet and one inch tall! His height is due to pituitary gigantism caused by a tumor on the pituitary gland. What does Kosen want to do with his new fame? First, he wants to find a car he can fit into, and he wants to get married if he can find the right girl.

Dog Crashes Car into Cafe

A dog named Wilco was left in a car in Cromwell, New Zealand while his owner went into a liquor store to pick up some beer. The unnamed man left the motor running, and Wilco jumped on the gear shift, which sent the vehicle crashing through the window of the nearby Fusee Rouge cafe.

"A lady from Mitre 10 ran through the doors and said 'did you know that your dog's just driven through the cafe doors'. So yeah, we popped out there and it was definitely right, it was sitting in the driver's seat," says Terry Fox, store manager.

Wilco and his owner were let go with a warning.

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London's Sewer-Blocking 'Fatbergs' Are Going to Be Turned Into Biodiesel
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UK officials can't exactly transform the Whitechapel fatberg—a 143-ton trash mass lurking in London's sewer system—into treasure, but they can turn it into fuel. As The Guardian reports, Scottish biodiesel producer Argent Energy plans to convert parts of the noxious blockage into an environmentally friendly energy source.

For the uninitiated, fatbergs (which get their names from a portmanteau of "fat" and "icebergs") are giant, solid blobs of congealed fat, oil, grease, wet wipes, and sanitary products. They form in sewers when people dump cooking byproducts down drains, or in oceans when ships release waste products like palm oil. These sticky substances combine with floating litter to form what could be described as garbage heaps on steroids.

Fatbergs wash up on beaches, muck up city infrastructures, and are sometimes even removed with cranes from sewer pipes as a last resort. Few—if any—fatbergs, however, appear to be as potentially lethal as the one workers recently discovered under London's Whitechapel neighborhood. In a news release, private utility company Thames Water described the toxic mass as "one of the largest ever found, with the extreme rock-solid mass of wet wipes, nappies, fat and oil weighing the same as 11 double-decker buses."

Ick factor aside, the Whitechapel fatberg currently blocks a stretch of Victorian sewer more than twice the length of two fields from London's Wembley Stadium. Engineers with jet hoses are working seven days a week to break up the fatberg before sucking it out with tankers. But even with high-pressure streams, the job is still akin to "trying to break up concrete," says Matt Rimmer, Thames Water's head of waste networks.

The project is slated to end in October. But instead of simply disposing of the Whitechapel fatberg, officials want to make use of it. Argent Energy—which has in the past relied on sources like rancid mayonnaise and old soup stock—plans to process fatberg sludge into more than 2600 gallons of biodiesel, creating "enough environmentally friendly energy to power 350 double-decker Routemaster buses for a day," according to Thames Water.

"Even though they are our worst enemy, and we want them dead completely, bringing fatbergs back to life when we do find them in the form of biodiesel is a far better solution for everyone," said company official Alex Saunders.

In addition to powering buses, the Whitechapel fatberg may also become an unlikely cultural touchstone: The Museum of London is working with Thames Water to acquire a chunk of the fatberg, according to BBC News. The waste exhibit will represent just one of the many challenges facing cities, and remind visitors that they are ultimately responsible for the fatberg phenomenon.

"When it comes to preventing fatbergs, everyone has a role to play," Rimmer says. "Yes, a lot of the fat comes from food outlets, but the wipes and sanitary items are far more likely to be from domestic properties. The sewers are not an abyss for household rubbish."

[h/t The Guardian]

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Restaurant Seeks Donations to Big Mouth Billy Bass Adoption Center
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Kevin Burkett, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

If you’ve ever wondered where all those Big Mouth Billy Bass singing fish that flew off shelves in the early 2000s have gone, take a look inside a Flying Fish restaurant. Each location of the southern seafood chain is home to its own Big Mouth Billy Bass Adoption Center, and they’re always accepting new additions to the collection.

According to Atlas Obscura, the gimmick was the idea of Dallas-based restaurateur Shannon Wynne. He opened his flagship Flying Fish in Little Rock, Arkansas in 2002 when the Big Mouth Billy Bass craze was just starting to wind down. As people grew tired of hearing the first 30 seconds of “Don’t Worry Be Happy” for the thousandth time, he offered them a place to bring their wall ornaments once the novelty wore off. The Flying Fish promises to “house, shelter, love, and protect” each Billy Bass they adopt. On top of that, donors get a free basket of catfish in exchange for the contribution and get their name on the wall. The Little Rock location now displays hundreds of the retired fish.

Today there are nine Flying Fish restaurants in Arkansas, Texas, and Tennessee, each with its own Adoption Center. There’s still space for new members of the family, so now may be the time to break out any Billy Basses that have been collecting dust in your attic since 2004.

And if you’re interested in stopping into Flying Fish for a bite to eat, don’t let the wall of rubber nostalgia scare you off: The batteries from all the fish have been removed, so you can enjoy your meal in peace.

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